Although we have talked about the problems with higher education, there is no question that a college degree is becoming ever more necessary. The Center for Education and the Workforce found that a Bachelor’s degree is worth $2.8 million on average over a lifetime, but with the ever rising cost of college, some majors have more students wishing they chose differently. 

It is also interesting to note that even before graduating, small amounts of tertiary education improve job seekers’ ability to command a higher salary.

But it is important to realize that the type of education a student receives has an outsized effect on their job prospects. Many college graduates regret the time and investment they have put into their education in large part to the difficulty they have in finding a job after college, usually because of their college major.  According to a recent Zip Recuriter survey, 44% of graduates regretted their major and  identified “The Most Regretted and Most Loved College Majors”  

New college students usually pick majors based on their own interests and talents with little thought or understanding about how the working world views those fields. Some majors, like journalism, have been sidelined in the internet age. Traditional newsrooms and newspapers are disappearing but a budding newswriter can usually find a website willing to publish their work. A journalism degree is not required. The real question is income. The top-paying college majors, like Computer Science,  earn $3.4 million more than the lowest-paying majors over a lifetime.

Another reason jobseekers may be disappointed in their major is that many graduates have inflated ideas of their future earnings, overestimating average starting salaries by $50,000.

When a student is choosing their major, they should consider careers and topics that genuinely interest them,  but they should also take a good look at possible future earnings. With a possible looming recession, it is also strategic to also consider the fields that are experiencing highest growth and stability. Analyzing all of the possibilities is the first and possibly the most import learning a student can undertake in college.

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